It’s Just A Little Flirting: That’s Not Cheating Right?

Have you ever known that person that was a self-proclaimed “flirt”?  Or was clearly flirting and just said they were being “friendly”?  Is that person your significant other?  Is that person you?

The lines of flirting and cheating can vary so much from one person to another that there is no clear indicator as to what’s cheating.  Often within a relation both parties have a different understanding as well.  I am of the opinion that anything you have to hide and do is cheating.  Have I ever actually cheated? Wouldn’t you like to know? (smile)

In relationships, if both people don’t have the same understanding of what flirting is, and of what cheating is, it’s very possible those lines can cross and completely crush the trust in the relationship.  Furthermore, once trust is lost, there is no relationship.  My husband and I had an issue once where a woman I didn’t like was contacting him in a flirty manner.  While he didn’t behave in a receptive manner, he did not see it as her flirting with him.  I, on the other hand, saw it as flirting, and in essence cheating.

It caused a problem in our marriage, and forced us to revisit our own definitions of flirting and cheating.  That’s where I learned that we never had the same definition of flirting and cheating in the very first place.  Once we redefined our understanding and came to a common understanding, we were able to move forward with clear boundaries on what flirting and cheating are.

Now, I know some people are just naturally more flirtatious than others, but ladies, please hear this…

Even if you and your significant other have defined flirting to not be cheating, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT flirt in front of your mate.  That’s only asking for trouble.

Why I Won’t Encourage My Kids To Marry Young

Fairy Tales have been ingrained in us so much so, that you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t know of them.  From the time we are young girls we’re shown fairy tales of the “damsel” finding her “prince charming”, and getting married and living happily ever after. Well, fairy tales got it wrong!  This is why I won’t encourage my kids to marry young:

Nowhere in that fairy tale does it give the princess the opportunity to even learn who she is as a person.  Marriage in itself takes hard work.  Never mind adding the challenges that come with getting married early while both partners are still growing, changing, and developing.  Don’t get it twisted, couples who marry young can still be happy and work out.  I know of quite a few.  I also know that when I got married young, I hadn’t had the chance to really grow into my own person just yet.  I hadn’t had the opportunity to learn who I truly was.  Neither of us did.

So you get married young and everything is all well and good right?

Well here’s the thing; most times children follow shortly after.  Of course, this is not every marriage, so please note that I’m speaking in a general sense.  If it doesn’t apply to you, great!  Now, when the children come along, your focus must primarily be in caring for them.  Their needs are entirely dependent on you.  For many, this allows you to overlook your own needs, focusing on the family instead.

Years can pass by and you find yourself changing and evolving.  After all, we are human, we’re not meant to stay the same.  If you don’t evolve and change, you have a bigger problem than anything being discussed here.  So you find yourself changing and evolving and now you come to the realization that your spouse has also been growing and changing as well, and now you have to figure out whether you both are on the same trajectory.  Are you both still changing together? Or is there a major distance that has developed?

Nothing is ever hopeless until one or both decide they give up and are not willing to try anymore.  For a healthy marriage, many conversations have to take place.  You will constantly be learning your partner because they are constantly changing.  They are not who they were five years ago, or even one year ago.  The same with you.  So allowing your partner the grace to grow, while growing with them is the ideal situation.  Often when people are married early, they haven’t yet developed the maturity for this and instead it turns into arguing and resentment, which can fester and grow and destroy a marriage if left unchecked.

I won’t be encouraging my children to get married early because I need them to see that they must be whole first, and have an understanding of who they are as a person before they can truly understand these same things about their partner.  I want my kids to be able to be equipped with the maturity level and the communication skills that are needed to allow their partner and themselves the grace to grow and change.  I want my children to have the time to focus solely on themselves and allow for their own accomplishments before their attention needs to be divided for the family.  Many women lose focus of themselves, thus becoming the identity of mom and wife, and forget that they had dreams and goals and desires before that.  Not that it can’t be done, but with a family, the challenges and demands are higher.  I can definitely speak from my own personal experience on this one.  I would like for my children to only have to be married once.  They’ll know when the time is right for them, but I won’t be the one to encourage them to get married young.  I’ll encourage them to get married when they’re ready and mature enough.

Insight from a Sex Trafficking Victim

SexyMom, Denise Hill, is an adult basic skills (GED) educator. She has found that most of her students have powerful stories behind what paused their education and lives until adulthood. In a conversation with one student, she learned that the recent news headlines about missing girls from DC were closer than she could imagine. Her student begins to share a story of her years as a sex slave. She had some interesting comments on the missing girls that were gaining national attention, and some advice about the little things women could do to increase their safety. She consented to tell her story on camera so others could be helped. We strongly suggest you watch this video about her experience as a survivor of sex trafficking with your daughters and have a conversation about what they need to know to stay safe.

Open Letter To Single Moms On Father’s Day

Dear Single Moms:

First, kudos to you! We give you the utmost respect and admiration. You sacrifice and put your children first. Sleepless nights, no days off, runny noses, tears and so much more is what you have your hands full with. Your love is repaid with butterfly kisses, big hugs, cuddles, and I love you’s.

For all of the wonderful things you do, for all of the irreplaceable moments you’re there for, you’ll always be an awesome mother.  However, I’m going to say something that you may not agree with.  While you play the role of both parents for your children, you can never be the father.

Greeting cards companies have now started making Father’s day cards for single moms. The reason a mother AND father are needed in a family is because they both play very distinct, but very different roles. The ideal situation is to have both parents in the home. However, it’s not always possible. Even in situations where it’s not possible, the mother is still the mother, and the father is still the father.

If single mothers are now taking credit for Father’s day, should single fathers take credit for Mother’s day? Each parent should be an active part of their child’s life. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. When we become parents, we decide to do what we need to for our children, even if that means taking over where another parent may fall short.

While we don’t get extra credit for doing what we have to do, we earn it through our children. Our children grow up and recognize the sacrifice we make for them. They recognize even when their parent has to fill in for the other parent. As a single mom, you play an important role in your child’s life, an irreplaceable role, but you are still not a father. Please do not wish single moms a happy father’s day unless you’re going to wish single fathers a happy mother’s day. I’m sure many will disagree with this, and that’s ok. A woman can not teach a child from a father’s standpoint because she has never been one. That’s like saying a woman can teach a man how to be a man.  No, she can not. She can teach him what her idea of a man is, but she will never speak from a place of personal experience.

So single moms, you ladies are awesome! You all rock!  Please continue to celebrate Mother’s day.  *In my Maury voice* You are not the father! Please don’t feel like I’m taking anything from you, because I’m not. This is just the reality of things.

Why I Refuse To Let My Kid Have A Participation Award

Nowadays it seems competitive sports have changed and the winning players or team no longer gets the award, but both teams get an award.  The losing team gets a “participation” award.  The concept behind this is to boost the self-esteem of all children involved and remove the focus on “winners” and “losers”.

My son played on a soccer team last season.  Their team did great even though most of them were first-timers.  They made it to the Playoffs, and their opponent was a very experienced team who had been playing together for a few seasons already.  As the game went on, emotions ran high on both sides.  The players on the field gave it their all.  They left their hearts on the field.  The game went into double overtime and finally ended with a win for the opposing team.  They won by 1 point!  The players on my son’s team, including my son, either cried or fought back tears.  This was so important to me to see because what it showed me was that they all gave everything they had to attain a victory that was important to them.  For that time they played as one unit on the field.  They were brothers (and sisters) for that time on the field.

When it came time for the teams who had made the playoffs to get their trophies and awards, my son’s team was awarded the 2nd place medals.  Only the first place team got the trophy.  At the time my heart ached for my son who was still processing the loss.  In his mind, if he played his hardest, he would win AND get a trophy just like the other team.  The fact of the matter is the other team was more experienced, and in the end, earned the victory.

I only saw the top 2 teams in the playoffs earn any award for playing.  I heard some parents grumble that their children should have received awards for playing on the teams during the season.  Here’s why their children didn’t need to receive awards:

1-I understand you feel it builds confidence in your child, but it also builds a sense of entitlement to things your child has not earned.

2-Now your child has a tangible goal to say ok, if I study harder, practice more, build up stamina, etc. Then I can attain that goal too.

3-The victory once they do attain that goal will be appreciated more than if they were just handed an award to pacify them.

4-The world will NOT give your child anything they have not earned.  While you don’t have to teach them that the world is hard, you do have to teach them to be realistic in a world where even if they deserve it, sometimes they won’t receive it.

5-This deprives your child of getting the full satisfaction of earning something they have truly worked hard and given their all for.

6-This teaches your child that anything is attainable if they put the work in.

7-This teaches your child to hand down the lesson to their children that they won’t have to work hard to earn anything.

As for my children, I don’t want them to receive any participation award they have not earned.  They won’t understand the true value of what it takes to grind and to reap the benefits of that grinding.  Our kids have to know that as minorities, the deck is already stacked against them. Handouts come at a cost and I want my kids to be able to stand on their own two feet and proudly say they earned what they have received.

Turmeric: Can It Change Your Life?

From osteoarthritis to depression, cancer to Alzheimer’s, this natural herb is a very effective treatment for these diseases, and so much more. The benefits of this herb are so numerous, and unlike many other herbs, this is a very fast-acting herbal benefit for the body.

Turmeric is an orange colored herb that is frequently used in curry, and other recipes containing Curry spices. This herb is underutilized for the powerful health benefits it contains. Turmeric comes from the Curcumin plant, and is a cousin to the commonly known ginger root. Turmeric is often used in Ayurvedic medicine to help the body on an overall level.

Some health benefits you may find surprising about Turmeric are:

Easing ear infection: Many people looking for holistic remedies for ear infection use mixtures of garlic and tea tree oil. Many add Turmeric to that mix for it’s helpful healing ingredients as well.

Tumor shrinking: With high enough doses, many people find that the size of tumors in their body will dramatically shrink, and in many cases disappear completely, leaving the healthy cells undamaged.

Osteoarthritis: Turmeric is wonderful for easing the pain of achy joints attributed to Osteoarthritis. 1500mgs a day is suggested to help ease the inflammation within the joints.

Treating sprains/strains: In Ayurvedic medicine, a paste is often made to treat strains and sprains of the body. This paste usually includes lime, salt (Epsom salt is ok too), and Turmeric.

Depression/Anxiety: *Researchers with the Department of Pharmacology of Government Medical College in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India performed a study comparing the effects of turmeric (curcumin) and Prozac (fluoxetine). The randomized and controlled clinical study determined turmeric was as effective as Prozac in treating major depressive disorder. Turmeric treatment was also absent of dangerous side effects often found in Prozac use.

Irritable/Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome: Scientists are still unsure exactly what it is about this powerful herb that helps with IBS. What they are sure of, however, is the fact that it has proven results with patients of IBS.

Heart Disease: Turmeric helps rebuild blood vessel walls, which in turn help improve the stress on the heart, decreasing the risk/damage of heart disease.

Antioxidant: Turmeric works as an antioxidant for the cells, fighting free radicals in the body, and helping to maintain healthy cells.

There are so many more wonderful benefits to this powerful herb. This should be a staple in everyone’s diet, even for those who have no health conditions. The simple benefit of this herb can make a world of a difference.

Flaws And All…

My daughter and I were having a conversation last night. I told her no one is perfect.  We all have flaws, but we must be willing to work on those flaws when they affect others. She thought about my statement for a moment and then asked what flaws did I have?  I had no problem being blatantly honest with her, as I of course, would expect her to be totally honest with me.

I told her I can be sarcastic and very stubborn. I can be sensitive, but I very rarely show how sensitive I am. I can be a little callous sometimes or insensitive if I think a situation is not worth my attention. I have trouble asking for help. I spent too much time caring what others thought/felt that I made life decisions behind it. Those are all flaws I’m aware of, and I try to consciously make an effort to work on them, or rectify situations where I may have made a mistake and offended or hurt.

What this allowed her to do was to start reflecting on herself and where she could do better.  I strive to teach my kids that they are truly perfect, but one thing this life is about is always striving to become a better person, and person who can help make a difference in the lives of many.  Sometimes this means we have to unlearn some things or some ways we have previously learned, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

So now I ask you, what are your flaws? How are you working on them?

An Open Letter To My Breastfeeding Baby

My love, my dear love,

You bring so much joy to my life.  You light up my world.  Your smile is a blessing, and I can’t begin to tell you just how much you mean to me.  I love how during our nursing time I’m able to trace the little curls you have and to hold you close to my heart, watching your eyes blink slower and slower until you fall into milk dreams.  There are some things we have to discuss and straighten out with you, my breastfeeding baby:

I know the world is interesting, it’s downright fascinating!  But pleeeease, for the love of God, let go of my nipple before you turn your head to see what’s going on around you!  I know you don’t know it, but my nipples have nerve endings in them and are not made of taffy allowing it to stretch like a piece of chewed bubble gum.  I’m not sure if you can actually stretch nipples out or not, but I would prefer not to learn that it is possible because my own nipples are now scraping the ground when I walk.

And yes, my little love, I know you’re impatient and want to nurse, but can you not try and climb your entire body in my shirt? Or even better, yank my shirt all the way down, exposing me to the world.  Let me adjust myself for you.  While I have no qualms about breastfeeding in public, I would appreciate not swinging in the breeze until I can get you in a position to latch on.  Which leads me to my next point.

My body is not a jungle gym!  Yes, you’re getting older and exploring, and if there’s something available to climb, better believe you’ll climb it. However, climbing isn’t a problem until you’re trying to climb WITH MY NIPPLE IN YOUR MOUTH! Again, they do not stretch like taffy! Please have some consideration for the fact that they’re actually attached to my body still.  Having your elbow digging in my chest and your foot pushing off of my face makes me feel like I’m in an MMA cage fight, but only one of us is doing the damage.

Sometimes I wish I could detach my breasts while you’re nursing!  Yes, you read that right.  There are so many times when I feel like my bladder is about to explode, but you’re clamped on to my nipple like it’s literally, the jaws of life!  I wish I could detach my breasts for a moment and make a beeline to the bathroom.  My bladder has sent out code red alarms too many times letting me know it would hold no more.  Until then, I didn’t even know I could pull off some of the acrobatic tricks that I have.  Some days I make it and you stay sleeping.  Other days I have to just let you cry like a blaring alarm just went off and come back to comfort you with an empty bladder.  FYI it’s much easier to comfort you when I can sit still and not squirming and doing the peepee dance.

Even with all of those minor nuisances, those are all just itty bitty things compared to the satisfaction I get knowing that the milk and the antibodies you’re receiving from me are quite literally making you healthy and strong.  I wouldn’t change this opportunity for anything in the world.  Not every mom is afforded this bonding time with their baby and I’m so grateful for it.  I just have to keep reminding myself of this when it’s time to nurse you again.

Stop Waiting!

Two women began their journey to become successful fashion entrepreneurs at the same time, attending the same university, networking in the same circles, and having access to the same resources. After graduation one sent resumes to various clothing and fashion corporations seeking employment. She mailed, e-mailed, and faxed then waited for a response. The other also sent resumes seeking employment but did not solely wait for a response. While waiting she also designed, cut, and sewed together original fashions that she then took to local boutique in an effort to get them on the rack and noticed by consumers. What she did not sell to boutiques she promoted on social media and sold online and out the trunk of her car. She went to the local office supply store and purchased paper for letterhead and business cards. She did what she could with what she had to get where she wanted to go while waiting for her resume to be noticed. Soon her finances looked up. Her fashions were seen all over town and abroad. Her name became known among the up-and-coming in the fashion world and she received more responses then she ever imagined. Eventually, the first woman was able to get an entry level job with a clothing company and progress but never saw the success of her former college classmate.

GET THIS!  Standing still gets you nowhere.  Really, what are you waiting for? We have been programmed to believe we have to do what we can to get a job. We work very hard to fulfill someone else’s dream. The person who owns the company you work for has fulfilled his or her dream of being a successful entrepreneur, why can’t you. The person who does your hair is living their dream of owning a salon, why can’t you. The person who educates your children is succeeding in walking in their purpose of educating and empowering others, why don’t you.

Everyday you should be doing something to get you closer to achieving your purpose and fulfilling your dreams. That doesn’t always look like business ownership for everyone; no doubt.  It is about living your dream and doing the one thing you were created to do. That is your purpose. While you are waiting for something to happen, looking for a sign, or waiting for the right time – do something. Order some business cards with the title you want, not the one you have. Register your business name so the possibilities become real to you. Trust and invest in yourself. Walk in your success before you can see it. If you do not do something and move forward, you are guaranteed one thing – NOT to reach your goal.

An Unprepared Unequipped Mother

Last Monday my daughter had surgery.  A pretty routine surgery at that.  She had surgery to remove her tonsils and adenoids.  I’ve always heard how simple of a procedure this was, and how quickly kids bounce back from it.  I was unprepared to see the complications my daughter ended up having to endure.  Immediately after the surgery, the surgeon informed us that the procedure had gone well, and we’d be called back in about 5 minutes.

5 minutes turned into 10, which turned into 15.  When I was finally called back, I could hear the stress in the nurse’s voice.  My daughter had awoken from the anesthesia, and was delirious, and crying in pain.  She had gotten herself twisted in the wires, some of which wrapped around her neck.  On top of that, she was having trouble getting air in period.  I could hear her gasping for air, and not getting enough.  The nurse shouted orders to the other nurses as they scattered.  We were trying to unwrap the wires, and calm my daughter down so they could get oxygen in her.  She was still delirious from the anesthesia, and could not focus on reason.

The nurse kept yelling that her oxygen levels was dropping fast, and her numbers were not at good numbers.  As a mom, I was totally and completely unprepared and unequipped to deal with this.  I may not have shown it at the time, I tried to keep a strong face for my baby, but inside I felt like falling apart.  Eventually they injected her with Fentonyl, and she was sedated enough for them to put oxygen on her.

I was injected with Fentonyl about 6 years ago when I was in labor with my son.  I remember the medicine had me so high, I swore I was sleeping and having a dream about chasing flowers.  Every time I got near the flowers, they blew away.  I only realized I was awake and babbling about the flowers when I heard my husband and mother in law laugh. That’s when I realized that Fentonyl was some strong stuff!

Eventually we were able to take her home with us.  She’s spent the last almost 2 weeks in severe pain, and refusing to eat or drink has caused dehydration.  The dehydration sent us to 2 different emergency rooms since the surgery. I’ve seen my daughter cry in pain more than I’ve ever seen, and it has broken my heart to see that, and not be able to take the pain away. I was completely out of ideas to help my daughter.

I thought as a mother I was prepared and equipped for most things.  This situation made me realize how unequipped and unprepared I truly am. The question is, is anyone?  Sure I read the parenting blogs and books.  Even took the advice from friends and loved ones who were already parents.  It’s in times like these that we realize no matter how many books we read, shows we watch, or even consults with out loved ones, we’ll never truly feel equipped. Some of the best mothers I know doubt their own abilities and how prepared they are to be the best mother to their children.

I have come to the conclusion that I will never be the perfect mother, but I’m imperfectly perfect for my children. I do the absolute best I can to provide them with, and teach them everything they need to lead happy, healthy, and successful lives. I choose family above all other priorities aside from my spiritual relationship with God. I tell my kids I love them every day, multiple times a day. I smother them with hugs and kisses, even when they’re like “mooooooooommm!!”. (smile) I discipline when necessary, and I love at all times. My house is not spotless, and sometimes I’m too tired to cook, so I order food. I have off days, and I have emotional days. You know what? It works for us. As a family. As unprepared and unequipped as I am to be their mother, I am imperfectly perfect for my little blessings.